The Dos and Don’ts of Pressure Washing

by Maryanne

Like every cloud has a silver lining, every rose has its thorns! Pressure Washing — a routine chore that can be a boon for most of us — also has its downsides. Although its importance is indispensable, especially to clean surfaces scarred by dust, mould, dirt, and paint, it can be extremely dangerous! So, a pressure washer must be used with proper care.

Dos of Pressure Washing:

Whether you want a pressure washer for yourself (check out the website of Giraffe Tools to get your hands on a high-quality pressure washer), or you’re already its user, you need to be mindful of the dangers it can spawn if it isn’t used painstakingly. Following are the conventional ways to use a pressure washer to its maximum benefit:

  • Firstly, test the water flow; it is recommended to start with a water flow rate of 2–2.5 GPM (Gallons per minute). Choose an appropriate spray angle; commonly, spray angles between 15–40° are recommended for pressure washing.
  • Make sure you wear the necessary safety gear; protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles and hands by wearing safety gloves. Also, protect the rest of the body with clothing, etc.
  • Test your pressure washer before initiating the cleaning. Choose a perfect nozzle, check the oil, check for any debris in the water filter, and attach the hose you want to use to the washer.
  • Run it smoothly: It is recommended to first start with a low pressure of 3000–3500 PSI and distance yourself for 6–10 feet from the item to wash, then gradually move close to it.

It is important to know which surfaces can be pressure washed since some items (e.g. Windows, AC units, Cars) can’t withstand it even with the lowest pressures. Choose a suitable safe location to prevent any damage; avoid having breakable items nearby. The pressure washer should have a proper oil level before it is started. You can use a laundry detergent to get better cleaning potential.

Don’ts of Pressure Washing:

To avoid any damage by a pressure washer, some practices must be shunned. Following are some of them:

  • First of all, never refuel the fuel tank while the engine is running or hot, nor detach the high-pressure hose from the washer while it is pressurized. Likewise, don’t use hot water because it overheats the unit and can potentially break the washer or melt the pump.
  • Don’t operate the Pressure washer when any living beings are nearby because it can even be lethal if due care isn’t taken. Also, don’t let the nozzle strike at any of your body parts since it can even rip the skin apart.
  • Don’t bring the washer too close to the surface, nor start the machine in front of the item you want to wash. It is necessary to maintain the precautionary distance before starting.
  • While adding oil, make certain that the engine carburettor is not overfilled.

Furthermore, NEVER use bleach or corrosives, as they will damage the pump and render it unproductive. First, pressure washes the areas that are least sensitive. Even in case of any mistake, there should be no damage; avoid directly washing the areas that are susceptible to damage by very high pressure.

The Take-Away

Only the people who are accustomed to pressure washers should use them. If improperly used, they can instead cause wreak havoc. But, if used correctly, by following all the recommended protocols, a pressure washer is one important invention. Needless to say, inexperienced people need to follow the guidelines on the manual with their pressure washers.

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